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SIDDONS 
An Object of Interest 



PR 
5452 
S18 03 



AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 



% faxcc. — In one ^rt. 



J. H. STOCQUELER, Esq., 

AUTHOB OP •'POLKAMANU," "A GOOD NAME," "THE SETES CHAUPIOKS OF 
CHKISTENDOM," ETC. ETC. 



fFith the original Casts, Costumes, and all the Stage Business. 



NEW YORK: 
SAMUEL FRENCH, 

132 Nariat Strkct ' Vr 8TAiBa.) 



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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
SANTA BARBARA 



AN OBJECT OF INTEEEST. 



SCENE I. — A Handsome Chamber. 1 g. 
Enter Mrs. Veenon, looking over a book of fashions, and readinf, 

B. H. 

Mrs. Vernon. " The cambric or muslin under-sleeve terminated by 
a single bouillon, moderately full, and trimmed with a Valenciennes 
lace ruflEle, falling over the hand." "The corsage is still worn low. 
Velvets are more a la mode than satins ; but, the choice of color being 
limited, the complexion of the wearer must, in a measure, determine 
the selection." Well, certainly, relief from the monotonous "trap- 
pings, and the suits of woe," does furnish a woman with a pleasing 
employment. Roving amidst the endless varieties of costume, a thou- 
sand agreeable pictures present themselves to the fancy. If we can 
neither buy, nor wear, all the elegant decorations suggested by the 
modiste, one can at least enjoy the luxury of imagining how one would 
look in them. 

Enter Fanny, 1 k. l. h. 

Fanny. Please, ma'am, he 's come. 

Mrs. V. Who 's come ? 

Fan. Your friend, ma'am — the gent with the 'starchers — 

Mrs. V. 'Starchers? 

Fan. Yes, ma'am ; them Life Guard whisker things. 

Mrs. V. 0, Mr. Simmerton. I 'd no idea it was so late ! Bid 
him come up ; and do you and Barney see that the drawing-room is 
in order. {Exit Fanny, 1 e. l. h.) 

Enter Mr. Seumeeton, l. h. 1 e. 

Mr. S. Well, beautiful widow, you see I take you at your word, 
and have come early to dinner. How enchanting you look ! Divested 
of the solemn suits of black in which I have been doomed to see you 
shroud your charms, you cast a refulgence — 

Mrs. V. 0, fiddle-de-dee ! A truce to hyperbole, my dear Sim- 
merton ; yon are come, and I 'm glad to see you — {shake hands) — 
that 's enough. I asked you thus early to let you into a little secret. 
My late excellent husband, whose love for me was deep and boundless 
as the Southern Ocean, made it a condition of his ample legacy, that 
when the term had expired during which respect for his memory 



4 AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

and the decencies of society rendered it incumbent upon me to mourn, 
I should, if I felt inclined to renew in the society of another the hap- 
piness I had enjoyed with him, I should — 

Mr. S. What? 

Mrs. V. Seek out his oldest friend, Mr. Marmaduke Primrose, and 
give him a chance of offering himself — 

Mr. S. But you surely will not regard — 

Mrs. V. Pardon me, Mr. Simmerton ; I am bound by the ties of gi'at- 
itude, to say nothing of legal obligation, to observe my poor husband's 
injunctions. I have, therefore, taken advantage of the presence of 
Mr. Primrose in town, after, I am told, an absence of thirty years, to 
invite him to dinner here, this day. 

Mr. S. Mrs. Vernon — charming Mrs. Vernon ! Eliza, you distract 
me! What if he should — (he cannot do otherwise if he has eyes, 
senses, a heart) — I say if he should be captivated, and avail himself 
of his privilege — 

Mrs. V. Well, sir, and if he should ? 

Mr. S. Why, then, I — 0, but you surely will not ! — 

Mrs. V. It certainly is very obliging of j'ou to wish to take the 
trouble of judging for myself off my hands, but I ihi7ik I am yet com- 
petent to decide. If he should prove a personable man, an agreeable 
man, an amiable man — 

Afr. S. {Dolefully.) Then you — 

Mrs. V. {Mocking him.) Then I — ha, ha, ha! Don't alarm 
yourself, my dear fellow ; it 's not very likely I shall be induced so 
readily to change the sentiments a certain simpleton has inspired 
me with ; but I must conform to the letter of kind old Vernon's 
testament. 

Mr. S. Well, my dear widow, for your sweet sake I will endeavor 
to restrain my strong inclination to kick the fellow, and hope that, in 
consideration of my forbearance, you will abstain from liking him too 
much, even though he should combine the form of Apollo with the 
manners of — 

Mrs. V. Mr. Sydenham Simmerton ! Ha, ha ! Well, now away 
•while I retire to my apartment. I have asked the Culverins to come, 
in order to diversify the party a little ; and, while I draw out the mod- 
est Primrose, you can encourage the female Culverin to assail her 
consequential little Major with the explosions of her wit. Au revoir. 

{Exit, B. H.) 

Mr. S. An revoir, fair widow ! {Exit, l. h.) 

SCENE n. — A Drawing-room; folding doors ; doors, n. 1 e. A 
couch, h, n., placed diagonally, with bolster; round table, with 
vases and books; drawing-room furniture and ornaments ; two 
candles, one long, the other short; a card and side table, -R.n. 
Barney and Fanny, b., discovered dusting furniture; they stand 
apart. 

Barney. {Singing.) " At Cork lived Miss Molly O'Rig, 

■\Vilh a nose like the snout of a pig; 
Long carroty locks, and ten pounds in the stocks, 
Was the fonuw nf Molly O'Rig. 
O, beautiful Molly O'Eig I " 



AN OBJECT OF INTEEEST. 6 

Fanny. I think, when some people are alone with other people, they 
might have something nice to say, instead of singing about other people 
which is unbeknown. 

Jiur. Ah, then, Fanny, mavourneen, why do you put my pipe out 
with your side winds, and your you-know-endos ? Don't singing argufy 
a clane conscience and a happy spirit ? And would you grudge Barney 
his peace and good digestion ? 

Fan. Heaven forbid! It's a poor heart that never rejoices; but 
.when folks pretend they loves a person, they might behave as sich, 
and not be running their Molly O'Rigs. 

Bar. Ah, the darlint ! Sure it 's neither the nod nor the wink that 
Barney requires to tache him the duty and sarvice of a blind horse. 
Ck)me to my arms, and take your full Avhack of the honey of an Irish- 
man's lips ! 

Fan. Barney, no ! It is the privilege of our sex to be courted. If 
you 've anything to give, you can come and give it, — I an't a going 
all that way for a trifle. 

Bur. Then meet me half way, my jewel, or I '11 be thinking your 
love is all for yourself {He advances a little, with liis back towards 
her, drawinij a chair, ivhich he continues to dust.) 

Fan. {Also advancing, with her back to Barxet.) No — it's not 
becoming a young woman. A precious forward minx you'd think me 
if I wei'e to be at your beck and call on all occasions. 

Bar. {Still movint/.) Divil a bit ! I would n't be after paying my- 
self so bad a compliment. However, suit yourself 

Fan. (Still moviu//.) Well, I am suiting myself. I am a queen in 
my own little way, and think proper to remain in one spot ; thus — 
{(hey suddenly jostle dos-a-dos) — hollo ! 0, you 've come here, have 
you ? 

Bar. Faith, then, it 's yourself that has shortened the distance 
mightily. I 'm only half way there, and here you are. 

Fan. 0, if it's disagreeable, I can go back, you know ! 

Bar. {Puttinf/ his arm round her.) Disagreeable! Roses and 
lilies ! Tulips and cai'nations ! Did ye ever see the Irishman that 
thought it unpleasant to have a pretty girl by his side ? 0, the dar- 
lint ! {Kisses her.) 

Fan. O! {Putting her hand to her face.) 

Bar. What 's the matter? 

Fan. It 's my belief yo>i haven't shaved this morning. 

Bar. You 're out there, my jewel, for I gave myself an extra scrape, 
by raison of the party to-day. 

Fan. 0, drat tlicni parties ! they alwaj-s bring extra work to us 
servants. 

Bar. That 's true for you ; but isn't the half-crowns, and the shil- 
lings, and the bottoms of the decanters, a nice sort of compensation ? 
And don't the fine talk of the gentlefoliis improve the mind, and tache 
manners free gratis, for nothing? Och, be aisy about the extra work 
— give me a j'arty every day in the week ! 

Fan. Every one for himself; for my part, I begin to hate service 

in any shape ; it 's the same thing from morning till night. One 

might as well be a cart-wheel going round, and round, and round ; 

better, indeed, for then one might meet with a stone, or rut, to make 

1* 



8 AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

things go rougher, and more comfortable. Here all is as smooth as a 
bowling-green. 

Bar. Old Nick fly away with me if you haven't the oddest taste 
(barring your love for Barney) I ever seed ! I suppose you 'd like a 
few misfortunes to make you happy ! The trouble 's a pleasure to you 
in raal right down arnest. 

Fan. I don't know about misfortune, but I should like some sort of 
excitement — something to make me a hobject of hinterest. 

Bar. On my sowl then I don't think that would be so mighty diffi- 
cult. Could n't you smash an alabaster vase, accidentally on purpose, 
or kill the lap-dog, or set the chimbley on fire ? 

Fan. Pshaw ! that 's ridiculous ! I mean, I should like to be sus- 
pected of some horrid crime unjustly. I 've been reading " Susan 
Hopley." I 've seen a play about her, too, — wasn't she a hinterest- 
ing young woman, neither ? Then, there 's the Maid and the Magpie. 
Would n't I have liked to have been the Maid ? 

Bar. And me the Magpie, is it ? 

Fan. To be wrongfully suspected of picking and stealing ; to be 
persecuted for nothing by a wicked magistrate ; to support a heavy 
father in a black cloak, and one's innocence to be proved by some 
spoons in a belfry ! 

Bar. Arrah, musha, but you have a quare foncy, anyhow ! If I 
had a father to suppoi't, I had rather he was a light weiglit ; and as 
for spoons in a belfry, while there 's such a lot of them on terra 
firma ground, I don't see why you need go steeple-chasing after 
them. 

Fan. It 's a pity some people's sense an't equal to their wit, — they 
would not play with other people's feelings as they do. {Double 
knock, L. II.) There, there — run, there's the postman ; drat his 
knocks, they send one's heart into one's mouth. 

Bar. Faith, a lucky man he must be to move your heart at all — 
that same postman. It 's what I could never do for the life of me. 

{Exit Bakney, l.) 

Fan. Ay, ay — all very fine words, but they don't make a lover. 
What 's the good of a lover as sings and dances ? It an't worth a 
woman's while to keep company with sich. Give me one whose 
heart '11 soon break, whose soul is rent by the pangs of jealousy ; his 
an't taxed with no rent — he an't got a soul. The gentleman as 
dined here t' other day chucked me under the chin as he took himself 
out of the hall door, and gave me half a crown ; but Barney warn't 
jealous — a unfeeling wretch! If I'd seen anybody chuck Barney 
under the chin, where would have been her eyes, I should like to 
know? I 'd soon have dotted them eyes, and no mistake. 0, I 'm a 
very unhappy young 'oman, indeed ! I 'm no hobject of hinterest to 
anybo<ly, and I 've got a sweetheart as can't be jealous. {Bet/ins ar- 
ranijinij tilings on mantelpiece.) What's this? La, it 's missusses 
emerald ring; how it sparkles ! — nobody gives me no rings. How 
well it looks on my finger ! 

Bakney reenters, t. 

Bar. Here, Fanny, it 's a letter for ynu, with something hard in the 
middle of it. {Gives letter, and attends to furniture.) 



AN OBJECT OP INTEREST. 7 

Fan. LsLvrkl (Takes letter aside.) From my old aunt, Dumdria, 
with a sovereign for a present and her blessing. I '11 take care of the 
first. {Pockets it.) 0, a splendid — now for it — a splendid idea! 
Barney ! (Barney still rubbing.) Can't even hear me, Barney ? 

Bar. Well, darlint. 

Fan. Should you like to know what was in the letter, Barney ? 

Bar. Yes, if one can get at it without the inconvenience of reading, 
^.ccomplishments was limited at my school — go on. 

Fan. (Hangs her head.) I don't like, exactly — it 's a confidential 
matter. Barney, you know the gentleman that paid me the little del- 
icate attention at the hall door ? 

Bar. Delicat«, you call it ? Why, the feller that chuck — 

Fan. That 's it. That ere gentleman has sent me a love-letter, 
full of— 

Bar. Ah ! flames and big hearts, and little boys sitting by a fire, 
without a superfluity of clothing. 

Fan. No, no ; more than that — a ring ! 

Bar. 0, mui-der ! — cum, cum, you 're playing oflFyour nonsense. 

Fan. Look here and be convinced. {Shows ring.) 

Bar. 0, the divil ! there's an expensive profligate, — there's a 
prodigal villain ! How can poor Barney hope to preserve a woman's 
heart, when it 's tempted in this way ! 0, murder ! what, a ring ! 

o, 0, : 

Fan. 0, how nice ! he 's actually jealous. I never felt so comfort- 
able in all my life ; s'pose now he should murder me with the sofa 
pillow, like the black man — 

Bar. Fanny, Fanny, the divil 's running after you, but 1 '11 hold 
him back ! 0, Fanny, it 's lucky you 've got such a friend as poor 
Barney, or I blush to think what would become of you ! That bad 
man seeks to captivate you with a false show of splendor, but thus I '11 
break the chain. (He snatches the ring from Fanny and throws it out 
of the window.) 

Fan. O, good gracious ! — what have you done ! — why, it 's miss 

— no — I won't undeceive him ! I must run out instantly and get it 

— {crosses to l.) — no, hang it, here 's missus ! {Both begin to be 
very busy.) 

Enter ]Mrs. Trevor Yernon, r. ii. 

Afrs. V. What, are you still here ? (FAyyir makes a movemeyit to 
go out, crosses to L., Mrs. Vernon stops her.) Why, it wants but five 
minutes to seven — and seven 's the dinner hour. 

{During the following six speeches, Fanny inakcs several attempts to 
leave the room, but Mrs. Vernon signs to her to remain.) 

Bar. (r.) Ah, but you know, ma'am, people comes half an hour 
after they 're axed. They never trusts to the punctuality of the cook. 
And can't be talking upon empty stomachs. 

Mrs. V. {Looking round, crosses to table.) These candles won't do, 
Barney — don't you see one is much longer than the other ? 

Bar. Upon my conscience then I don't — I see that one ia shorter 
than the other. 

Mrs. V. Well, and what 's the difierence ? 



8 AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

£a7\ Ah — then it 's not for the likes of me to know better than 
you, my lady. 

Mrs. V. Well, go and change them at once. {Exit Baknet with 
liffhts, h.) And now, Fanny, come and help me to dress. I left my 
ring on the mantelpiece. 

Fan. O.Gemini! {Aside.) King, ma'am? 

Mrs. V. Yes, ring — my emerald ring. 

Fan. I don't see it, ma'am. 

Mrs. V. No ! — are you sure ? 

Fan. Quite positive, ma'am. {Aside.) I must stick to that. 
{Assuredly). Yes, ma'am, quite sui-e. I don't see it now, and 
I haven't of course set eyes on it since you last had it — how 
should I ? 

Mrs. V. Well, then, where can it be? I thought it was there. 
{Fanny hangs her head, and turns away.) I've — eh? Can it be 
possible ? I 'm half alarmed. 0, mercy ! Is it possible I have 
thieves in the house ? 

Baunex reenterinr/ with liffhts, l., goes to c. 

Bar. Thieves in the house ! Och, murder ! — let me be at them. 
Is it in the cellar they are — or under the beds, ma'am — or up the 
chimbley ? 

Mrs. V. 0, no, no, no — woi'se than that. I fear that they stand 
in this very room. 

Bar. Is it the candles again ? Divil a thief do I see in either of 
them, then. 

Mrs. V. Do not presume to jest, sir. I have lost a ring, and 
those who should know something about it affect ignorance uj^on the 
subject. 

Bar. By my soul, then, it 's not myself that knows or afiFects any- 
thing about it, or any other ring, but th:it dam — {bell rings l. h.). 
0, yes — there 's one. 

Fan. ^' }(roi'c^/i'''--) Wliere? 

Bar. Sure, at the door — and it 's myself that 'II answer it. 

{Exit, L.) 

Mrs. V. Provoking blunderer ! Again I ask you, Fanny, can you 
give me a clue to my lost property ? 

Fan. {Still turning away.) IIow should I, ma'am? {Aside.) 
Lord ! I 'm actually becoming a hobject of hinterest, like the young 
'oman in the play. I rather like it. 

Mrs. V. Look me in the fice — full in the face — neither pre 
■varicate, nor equivocate — but answer me directly. AVhere is ray 
ring? 

Fan. {TVho has 7voved round gradually, looks up.) Where? 0, 
don't, ma'am — don't look at me with tliem eyes ! Spare me — spare 
me your unjust suspicions. I am innocent — yes, tlie heavens above 
witness tli.it I am innocent. {Ttieairi rally.) 

Mrs. V. AVell, I don't positively accuse you — I only ask you if 
you know where my property is. Tell me tlie truth at once, witliout 
reserve. 

Fan. 0, ask me not ! Have pity upon a miserable maid, and 



AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 9 

don't aggravate feelings as is wouuded. 0, that I should live to be 
suspected, after bringing a good character from my last place ! 
{Trying to cry.) 

J\i s. V. But I don't suspect you — at least, I don't wish to suspect 
you. 

Fan. {Quickly.) 0, yes you do, ma'am — you think that I am 
guilty of the crime of highway robbery. In your mind you have 
accused me, and sentenced me to transportation to Botany Bay for 
, fourteen years. You are the mistress, and I am the innocent, perse- 
cuted maid ! 

Mrs. V. Well, if instead of a plain answer, I am treated to these 
heroics, I fear I must thinls you IJnow move of my loss than you care 
to confess. (Il nocking, l. h.) But there's no time for investiga^ 
tion — come and dress me, for I declare some one has arrived. 

(Exit, E.) 

Fan. Now, my wisest plan would be to go into the street, and pick 
up the ring. But when did Susan Hopley do anything wise? No, as 
I have got a good case of hevidence against me, and the support of 
internal hinnocence, I '11 keep as I am. The Maid and the Magpie 
did n't look a bit more guilty nor me. And how delightful to be 
proved hinnocent by a bii-d flying in at the window, with the ring in 
his beak ! I could n't have believed missus would have done me so 
much injustice — but since it is so, why I may as well let things take 
their course. {Bell rings, c. r.) That 's her bell. I 'm a coming : 
though wronged most cruelly, to the last I '11 be a faithful servant. 
( Theatrically. ) ( Exit, R. ) 

Barney zishers in Mr. Primrose, l., ivho is in a court dress, with 
sword, L. II. 

Sar. {Snuffs candles.) Mrs. Vernon will be down directly. 

{Exit, L.) 

Prim. Thank ye — thank ye kindly. Don't let her hurry. {Look- 
ing about. ) And so this is the residence of the widow of my old school- 
fellow, Vernon. AVell, he seems to have left her comfortably provided 
for, at any rate. What a time it is since Ave met ! — thirty-five yeai-s 
at least. He was packed olY to tlie Ivist Indies as a guinea pig, after 
leaving school ; and I to the Old JLmor House, at Mudlecum Spindle, 
wliere I have vegetated ever since, lait of the viwy of the wide world. 
It 's very kind of Vernon to bcque.ith me his widow, but I don't feel 
much inclined to change my condition. I shall only keep to the form 
of the thing, and pay her my respects, and release her from her obli- 
gation. My visit is lucky in one respect, at all events. This emerald 
ring, which I picked up by the door, will serve well to set me off at the 
levee, if I 'ra forced to advertise it afterwards. 

Barney enters, shouing in Mr. Simmerton, l. n. 

Bar. Mr. Simpleton Simmerton. 

Mr. S. What, fellow ? 

Bar. I beg pardon, sir, if I 'm wrong in my pronouncement ; but 
people will have such odd names now-a-days, there 'a no remembering 
tnem. (Exit, l.) 



10 AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

Mk. Simmertox bows to Mr. PraMROSE, r. 

Prim. Same to you, sir — same to you. (Aside.) We arn't been 
introduced yet, but these London chaps are always impudent. 

Mr. S. Charming weather, sir. 

Prim. Is it? I only wish yoii had spring sowings to look to, you 
would n't make such a damned foolLsli reniaik to a farmer. 

Mr. S. Sir, I spoke in reference to the absence of rain. 

Prim. Ah — I thought you talked of summat you did n't under 
stand. 

Mr. S. (^.siV/c.) This seems a queer sort of person for a fixir wido'vy's 
suitor. AVhat can ho be doing in that court dress and sword ? I nevei- 
beheld sucli a guj' in all my life. {Laughing.) 

Prim. What 's he laughing at, I wonder ! It 's a turn off, I suy 
pose, after the rap I gave hiui. 

Mr. S. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Prim. {Turning, and going close vp to him.) Well, if you come to 
that — ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ! I can laugh as well as you. 

Mr. S. Excuse me, sir ; but you are irresistible — the peculiaritj 

— the oddity of your costume — your ensemble — ha, ha ! 

Prim. Well, and what have you got to say against it ? Can't I 
come up to London on a deputation, but I 'm to be sniggered at ? 

Mr. S. Forgive me, I really mean no offence — but it is so unusual 
to see a gentleman in a court dress and a sword, excepting at a fancy 
ball, that I can only suppose you wear them for the amusement of 
your friends. 

Prim. (), do you ? Well, I can tell you that you 're just out there, 
young chap. I 've put them on (they 're feyther's, you understand, 
who 's dead, and left them to me), because I was told it 's usual, when 
country gentlemen come up to London on state matters, to sport this 
kind of toggery. 

Mr. S. True — but they usually doff it when they leave the pres- 
ence. Let me conjure you not to expose yourself to the ridicule of Mrs. 
Vernon and her visitors. It is perfectly grotesque. 

Prim. AVell, I dare say you know best ; but what am I to do? I 
live a long way from here — I can't go back to the inn and change in 
time for dinner. 

.Mr. S. At any rate take off the sword and conceal it. It is abso- 
lutely outre. 

Prim. Well, .sir — well, I .s'posc I mu.st. Plague take tlie buckle, 
it 's so tight ! There — it 's off now — Avhere shall I put it ? 

Mr. S. 0, hide it somewhere till you go away. 

Mrs. V. {Without, k.) Well, I insi.st upon its being looked for 
and found ! 

Prim. She insists n\v.>n its being found I 

Air. S. Slic means something else. Here, quick — put it behind th' 

— no — here, here — under t!ie ."^ofa ]»illow. (Mn. Primrose put* 
sword nhder bolster of sofu, ivitli the hilt projecting.) 

Mr.s. Vernon enters n., 1 e. 

Mrs. V. Ah, my dear Mr. Simmcrton, I'm delighted to see yoo, 
Mr. Primrose, I believe. {Crosses to him.) 



AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 11 

Prim. Yes, madam, at your service — purely glad to see my old 
chum Vernon's ■widow looking so blooming. 

Jlfrs. V. You have come up, I see by the papei's, on public busi- 
ness. 

Prim. Yes, madam. All in our parts are in a l;ad way about these 
railroads, so we 've come up to scold Home Secretary a bit. There 's 
Bumble, and Snacks, and Withers, who keep tiiree hotels on the main 
road to Bucksley; and Doh£on,aiid Hookey, the coach proprietors; and 
Blingsby, who has a power of pott-hoi'ses. They '11 be ruined by these 
uew-faugled schemes. 

Mr. S. A most disinterested body, truh'. But how are you, 
affected ? 

Prim. Why, they all buy hay and corn and oats of me ; and ye 
know rail trains dou't eat ! Steam engines have no stomachs, and, 
besides, I 'lu proprietor of the houses thej' occupy, which 'uU all be 
vacant if the road be done up — so like a good patriot I 've joined the 
opposition. 

Mrs. V. Then of course your arguments were irrefragable, and 
the Secretary listened to you ? 

Prim. Did he ? Dom'd if he did n't larf at us ! 

Enter Bahn'et, l. 
Bar. Major and Mrs. Culverin. 

Enter Major and Mrs. Culverix, l. Exit B.-iKXET, l. 

Mrs. V. My dear Mrs. C, this is so kind of you, and the dear 
Major too — (crosses to him) — to come so far to visit a lone widow. 
It 's an age since we met. {The Major bows solemnly.) 
Mrs. C. Ah, my dear, it 's quite a mercy we are here. 
Mrs. V. Good gracious I — what can have happened ? You alarm 
me ! 

Mrs. C. Just as the coachman — 
Mrs. V. Yes. 

Mrs. C. Had closed the door, after we had gone in — 
Yes — ! 

Away went the horses, down Baker-street — 
Good heavens ! 
Along Oxford-street — 
Mercy ! 

To the Regent Circus — 
Yes. 

Mrs. C. As hard as they could tear. 
Mrs. V. What in the name of mercy did you do? 
Mrs. C. Clung to the Major — 
Mrs. V. Yes. 

Mrs. C. Pale with affright — (I must have looked a horrid pic- 
ture) — and utterly speechless — 
Mrs. V. Did n't you scream ? 
Mrs. C. No — 

Mrs. V. 0, I should have put ray head out of the window and 
screeched murder. And what did the Major ? 



Mrs. 


V. 


.Mrs. 


c. 


Mrs. 


V. 


Mrs. 


c. 


Mrs. 


V. 


Mrs. 


c. 


Mrs. 


V. 



12 AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

Major. Sat calm — unruffled — resigned — 0, ah I 

Mrs. C. Did you ? It was the calmness of fear. You were aghast, 
like myself. It was a case of double paralysis. 

Major. 0, hah ! hum ! 

Mrs. V. Well, and then — 

Mrs. C. Then, when I thought we were on the brink of perdition, 
somebody stopped the horses, and we were saved ! 

Mrs. V. What a miracle ! 

.Major. Was it not ? 

Mr. S. Mrs. Culverin, I reallj' must apologize for not answering 
your invitation fur last Monday — I was away. Bob Snifl'kins pro- 
posed a week's fishing at Twickenham ; so down we went, and have 
done a bit of piscatorial ever since. 

Major. I envy you — charming pastime, calm, tranquil, dignified 

— dib — bob — splash , eh ? 

Prim. Pleasant ! For my part, I never hear of a man angling, but 
I think of wliat the old dictionary chap said. " A stick and a string, 
a worm and a " — 

Major. Sir, I execrate Dr. .Johnson's memory for that very obser- 
vation. 

Mrs. C. And therefore Major C. revenges himself by disregarding 
the laws of orthography. He spells pliilanthropist with an F ? 

Prim. Well, and how else would you spell it, I should like to 
know ? 

Oinnes. Ha, ha, ha ! 

lict'iilcr Barney, c. 

Bar. Dinner is on the table, ma'am. {Exit, 0.) 

Mrs. V. Mr. Primrose, j-our arm — Mr. Simmerton, will you take 
Mrs. Culverin ? — Major will bring up the rear. 

{Exeunt Omiics in order, through door injlat, C.) 

After a pause — 
Fanny enters,, with her hair dishevelled, R. 

Fan. They are gone, and here I may give way to sorrow without 
interruption. {Sits down.) Such is missusses — years of honesty ia 
forgotten in a moment — kind service and obliging tempers is set down 
for notiiin'. H<iw often I might have removed a lace handlvcrchief, or 
a brooch, and did n't. Hnw dftcn I might have pricked missus out of 
malice, and never did notiiin' of the .sort — aud now — {tryimj to 
weep) — because — bee — bee — cause a trumpery ring is not found in 
a minute, I 'm to be pointed out as a thief — a common felon — ray 
goo — 00 — nod name blasted — my old do — do — ating father's white 
liairs carried in sorrow to the griivc — my mo — o — ther's heart shiv- 
ered into nothin' — my lover ! Ah! dare I name liim ? {Theatri- 
cally ) Dare I harbor a thought of Barney Larrigan, in this degraded 
state? 0, no, no, no, no — will no tears come? {liubbint/ her eye.) 
No, dry as a cinder. 'T is despair ! I know it — see it — hear it — 
feel it — smell it. I '11 go mad — I '11 take pison — ha ! I am mad 

— mad as the lady in the play — {acts madness) — what 's that ? I 
hear a bell— a little tiny tinkling bell. 'T is the muffin man — no — 



AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. li 

'tis a flock of sheep on Primrose Hill — see, the flowers is a nodding 
at me — the heath-bell and the poppy is a smiling ! Ila, look there ! — 
my lover in black tights. What means that look? lie frowns — he 
laughs — away — away, give me pison — pison ! {Falls back onto 
the couch, and rolls off on to the ground.) 

Enter Barney, with a glass of wine, on tray, c. 

Bar. Hist ! Fanny dear, where the divil are yez? Why, what 's 
all this? Is it ill ye are? 0, I'll be running for the doctor! 
( Going, L. ) 

Fan. {Seizes his coat-tail.) Stir not — move not. Do you — can, 
you love me, Barney ? 

Bar. Can I? — sure don't you know that you are the sole and 
entire possessor of every bit of me that 's left in the shape of a heart ! 
Och, jewel ! — it 's myself that 's doating on ycz. But what 's the 
matter? Are ye in a high-strike? Here 's a dlirop to comfort ye — 
I poured it out myself at the sideboard, and slipped away while they 
were laughing at the quare little man from the country. 

Fan. Speak! Is it pison ? 

Bar. Pison! 0, yes — the temperance people call it so. 

Fan. It is then pison. I thank thee, beloved Barney. I bless the 
hand that thus rescues me from the shame and disgrace of a felon's 
death. {Seizes the glass and goes down on her knee.) Heaven for- 
give me, as my innocence is beknown to me. {Drinks.) 'T is Prus- 
sian acid. It works through all my veins — I feel the glow of the 
pisonous liquor — it mounts to my brain, and in a few hours I shall be 
a cold body, with twelve gentlemen a sitting on me. Verdick — Tem 
porary Sanity. 

Bar. By my soul, I don't know where they '11 find room. 

Mrs. V. {Without, c.) More lights. 

Fan. 0, gimeny — here 's missus ! 

Reenter Mrs. Trevor Vernon and ]\Ir3. Culverin, c. 

Mrs. V. Bless me, Fanny, what do you do here? {To Mrs. C.) 
Wretched girl! a prey to remorse — she is oblivious of her duties. 
Leave the room, and make yourself tidy to bring in coflee. (Fannt 
theatrically points to Mrs. Vernon, then points upwards, slaps her 
bosom, and rushes out.) 

Mrs. C. Dear me, what can she mean ? 

Mrs. V. I really don't know, unless a conviction of guilt oppresses 
her. I have lost a ring, and she has given me reason to suppose tliat 
she knows more about it tlian she cares to confess. But never mind 
her, tell inc how you like my friend Mr. Prin)ro^^e. 

Mrs. C. Very well at a distance. The simplicity of his conversa- 
tion micrht be endurable if his manners were less uncoutli. He posi- 
tively asked me to take wine three times, and called for jwrter with 
his cheese ! 

Mrs. V. Poor man ! He is little used to good society. I must take 
him in hand and civilize him. 

M-s. C. And so you had a long ramble among the shops to-day ? 

Mrs. V. Yes — but very few interest me. 
2 



14 AN OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

Reenter Major Cclverin, Mr, Simmerton, and Mr. Primrose, o 

Mrs. C. For my part, all the shops which exhibit articles of female 
attire have attractions for me. I seldom miss one. 

Major. No, unfortunately ; you always enroll yourself among the 
customers of the most expensive. 

Mrs. C. Well, my dear, you would not have me pay so empty a 
compliment to the productions of industry, as simply to gaze and 
admire. 

Major. 0, ha ! — hem ! 

Prim. I admire your sentiment, madam. 

Major. Yes, it 's all very well for you to applaud the sentiment, 
who have n't got to pay the bills. 

Reenter Barney, with coffee, l., followed, by Fannt, with bread and 
butter, etc., etc. 

Mrs. V. You must find much to admire in London, Mr. Primrose. 

Prim. I rather think 1 do. Why, there 's more wealth in one of 
your streets than in all the world put together. I don't believe there 
can be a poor man in London. 

Mrs. C. Ah, sir, you are grievously mistaken there. Society in this 
country is like a glass of water — clear to the naked eye, and agreeable 
to the unvitiated palate; but once subjected to the microscopic scrutiny 
of the philanthropist or the philosopher, it is found to swarm with 
hideous animalcuUe. 

Mr. S. You have affirmed, madam, a melancholy truth, of which 
our leading men are beginning to be sensible. The time has at last 
arrived when the existence of poverty and wretchedness is admitted to 
be a " great fact ; " and legislators are more bent upon the timely 
prevention of crime, thin its punishment. 

Prim. Ah, let them try ns they will, they will never prevent crime. 
{Taking coffee of Barney.) People icill steal. {Taking bread and 
butler of F.\.nny, r., who shrinks from him.) Eh? {She again 
offers it.) I say, people will steal, treat them as you may, and you 
7nust hang 'em if you find 'em out. 

Fanny drops the tray, Barney drops the other. She faints in 
his arms. 

Bar. {Jlppronchinrj her.) Och, Fanny, d.irlint, lave this talk, and 
come to the buzzum of your protector ! Ye never did anything that 's 
wrong from the niinit yez was born. I '11 swear an alibi for ye — I '11 
give ycz a carrackter — I '11 — 0, come along ! 

Fan. O, don't, I implore you — don't let me die the death of a 
manufacturer. {Exit Barney, bearing Fanny, r.) 

Mrs. V. Well, I 'm sure ! 

Mrs. C. My dear {to ^LvJOR), I think we had better depart. 
{Takes his arm and crosses to l. ) The presence of company must be 
disagreeable to Mrs. Vernon, in the present state of her domestic estab- 
lishment. Good-night. 

Mrs. V. I really am quite distressed at all this. Good-night, Mrs. 
C., — good-night, Major. I hope wc shall meet again soon. Good- 



AN OBJECT OF INTEBESI. 1$ 

night, Mr. Simmerton. (Aside.) Come back in half an hoar, and 
hear the result of the visit. 
Mr. S. Good-uight. 

All bid adieu in the usual fashion, and exeunt, i. As Simmeeton is 
going. Primrose crosses behind to him. 

Prim. I say, how shall I get my sword again ? 

Mr. S. Really I cannot assist you — but I dare say you will have 
no difficulty about it. {Exit, l.) 

Mrs. V. {After bowing out the others, comes up to Pei.mrose.) 
Good-night ! 

Prim. Eh! 0, good-night. {They boiv to each other, but he does 
not stir.) I shan't go without my sword, though. {Aside.) 

Mrs. V. {Aside.) Now for some fearful declaration of love ! I hope 
he has found nothing attractive in me ! I must bring matters to a 
crisis. You have a considerable distance to go, I believe? {Aside.) 
Good gracious ! how like that is to my ring ! 

Prim. Yes, it is rather far — but I don't much mind that, now that 
I 've done my duty. I thought it right to do my old friend's last bid- 
ding, and having seen you — 

Mrs. F. * Yes, sir, having seen me. {Aside.) It 's very like my 
ring ! 

Prim. I 'd rather not — you understand me? Don't be offended 
wi' me. I 'd rather not. 

Mrs. V. {Aside.) ♦'For this relief, much thanks." I'm sorry 
that it should be so, Mr. Primrose — but since it is so, good-night. 
{Curtseying low.) {Aside.) Is n't he going? 

Prim. You gave us rather a nice dinner to-day, ma'am. I don't 
know when I have eaten so much at a sitting. 

Mrs. V. O, pray don't say so. I am glad you enjoyed yourself — 
it was but widow's fare. 

Prim. And the wine, too, was capital. {He gradually sidles toW' 
ards the couch.) 

Mrs. V. 0, really ! {Aside.) Vulgar fellow — I wish he 'd go. 

Prim. {Aside.) I wish she 'd go out of the room, or look the other 
way. {Aloud.) You look a little tired, after entertaining us all. 

Mrs. V. 1 am, a. little. {Aside.) I hope he'll take that hint. 
{She sits down r. of the table.) 

Prim. I 'm rather tired myself. {Sits down L. of table.) Suppose 
I can't do anything for you in the country ? 

Mrs. V. Thank you — nothing. Do you leave town immediately ? 
{Turns and observes him.) {Aside.) How very strange ! — that 
ring, too ! 

Prim. Yes ; after I've settled a small matter of business here, I 
shall go by post-chaise, for I never will patronize a railway. 

Mrs. J''. Indeed! {Aside.) 0, why don't lie go? I 'm getting 
quite sleepy — ya — a — w. {Rises, and goes to sofa.) 

Prim. { Sitting twirling his thumbs.) It 's just tive-and-thirty years 
come next Michaelmas, since I was last in London. IIow the town has 
changed, sure — ly I Everything 's changed ! Gas is come — and Re- 
gent's Park — and the National Gallery — and the Chinese Collection 
— and a whole power of fine places — and where 's the Old Royal Ex- 



16 AX OBJECT OF INTEREST. 

change — and the Armory in the Tower — and — {Aside.) I declare 
she 's dropping asleep ! {la a drowsy tone.) Ah, the Tower — and 
Fox and Pitt. Boney was living then — and there was some fun going 
on over the water, to fill London Gazettes with. I remember how the 
horns used to go blowing second editions, and the Courier was always 
to be had wet as anything — and claret was — {Looks round and sees 
Mrs. Vernon asleep.) jYow I shall get 'un. Here 's the handle all 
out — now for it. {He bends down, seizes the hilt, and (jently draws 
the sword out of the sheath.) Huzza! I've got it — I've got it ! 
Hollo ! where 's the scabbard ? I 've only half done the business. I 
hope she won't wake — no, still sleeping — snoring a little. 

Fanny enters c, her hair again dishevelled. 

Fan. {Speaking at the back.) I wish missus would go to bed — I 
could go down and have a Imnt for tliat ring. My gracious ! what 's 
that man doing with the sword in his hand ? 0, here 's a to-do — why 
murder 's a doing ! 0, my ! {She crouches down behind the couch.) 

Prim. { IFho has been devising various means for getting at the 
scabbard.) Now I have it ; and if I can only escape with it before she 
wakes, I am all right. {He leans over, seizes the scabbard with his 
left hand, flourishing the sword with his right.) Now lor it.* 0, crikey! 
{His foot slips, and he falls on Mrs. Vernon — she jumps xip and 
screams. He starts — Fanny rushes forward, and seizes him by the 
throat and sword arm, and pushes him against the wing.) 

Fan. Murder ! murder ! 

Mrs. V. Murder ! murder ! 

Prim. Murder ! why you 're mui-dering rac. I 'm choking 1 

Barney enters with a poker and a light, R. 

JBar. Och, murder in Irish — what '.s the row? AViiere the divil 
are they? Let me get at 'cm. {Flourishing about with the elevated 
poker.) "Where 's the thief of tlie world '! 

Fan. Here ho is — I 'vc got him. 

Bar. Get out of that till I break his head with the poker. 

Enter Mn. Simjierton, l. 

Mr. S. Heavcn.s ! what do I see? What is all this? 

Prim. { Tries to rush to the door.) Clear tlie way ! 

Bar. Divil a bit. 

Fan. No, I have 3'.ou fast — 1 .-nw your intention, and have prc- 
ventc'd murder. 

Mrs. V. Generous gii-l ! liow can I pay this noble devotion? 

Fan. {Theatrically.) Talk not of rcuoiiipeiise — restore me to your 
favor, and cease to tliink me the guilty one — guilty one ! But can 
it be? {Looking at Primrose's /j/f^f)-.) It ia — Innocence lias tri- 
umplied ! Behold the ring ! {Snatches it from his finger, and at 
the same time snatches his sword, which she wares triumphantly.) 
This, ma'am, is your ring — look at it, and remember how you used 
me — but — {sobs) — I — I — I — forgive you. Barney, "We may 
be happy yet." {Rushes to his arms.) 

Prim. Well, now my windpipe is free, and I have the power of 
telling a word or two, you '11 — phew — perhaps let mo explain. 



AN' OBJECT OF ISTEEEST. 17' 

Fan. Proceed, miscreant ! Even the guilty have a right to be heard. 
{Still holding the sword, she motio7is the rest to silence, and assumes 
an appearance of diyaiiy.) 

Prim. "Why, I came with a full court dress and sword, as I thought 
proper and coi-rect. Mr. Simmerton made me liide the sword (it was 
my father's dress sword), and I could n't get it without your seeing and 
laughing at me. ( To SniMEUXON.) Did n't you tell me to hide it ? 

Mr. S. The fact is indisputable. 

Prim. As for the ring, I found it in the street, 

Mrs. V. My ring in the street — how could it get there ? 

Bar. Ring in the street — why — sure it 's the — 

Fan. (JVudi/ing him.) Not a word. 

Mrs. V. The — what? 

Bar. The oddest thing in the world, that 's all I can say about it. 

Mrs. V. Well, I hnvc it again, and we may let the matter drop. 
As for this ludicrous mistake, I scarcely know whether I should apol- 
ogize to you, Mr. Primrose. 

Prim. Suppose we split the difference, and make no apologies at 
all — none are necessary. 

Fan. 0, yes, there is an apology necessary; let me say a word to — 

Mrs. V. {Stopping her.) What, have you not attracted sufficient 
attention already 1 Do you want to get up another scene ? 

Fan. Yes, to-morrow, if I can obtain leave. If they think I am 
sorry for what I have done, they are tee-totally mistaken — unless 
you disapprove of it ; and, as I hope you don't, I shall find a way to- 
morrow evening to do the only thing I care about doing — the making 
myself ^« Object of Interest to you. 

B. Mr. S., Fanny, Barxet, Mrs. V., Mr. Primrose, u 



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